I was provided a PDF version of this book, so trying to read it on my kindle was like pulling teeth. The text was tiny with loads of white space around it and yet I still managed to whisk through this tale in only a couple of days!
To begin with, I felt that the two stories were a little disjointed, they didn't seem to fit (oh I've never been good with patience!) so it was a little odd changing from the present to the past within the two stories. I would feel like I was just getting 'into' the story with Annie and we'd be thrust back in time to see how things were with Samantha.
That changed at about 25% of the way though. I was thoroughly engrossed in both of the tales of Annie and Samantha and would often feel a little miffed when we changed between the two, because I wanted to know what happened with the one I was currently reading.
Breaking this down into the present and past was quite well done, you do draw similarities and yet you also see the gaping void between present day and the mid-late 1800s. Gayle managed to make me simultaneously hate two mothers, feel for two young women and dare I say it, swoon for two very different young men.
The true magic of this story was firmly in the tale at the end of the slaving era in the 1800s. Gayle managed to thrust the reader back in time and come out on the cotton plantation of Samantha and her family. The twists in this side of the story were many and varied, the deception and romance and fear as well as joy and sadness were all mashed into what felt like a very real situation. The gritty reality of that era came to life with all its blood, sweat and tears.
When we took a refreshing, yet slightly creepy and scary look at Annie's life in the present, you got a completely different feel. The girls were similar, yet so different, their worlds 150 years apart, yet amazingly connected. I liked the thriller/crime aspect, I could believe this happening in real life, so I travelled along with Annie as she raced her way across America. I would have liked to see more of this side of the tale, and a little less (although I enjoyed every word of it) of the romance in Annie's tale.
The characters were well rounded and believable, the plot strong and unpredictable, the melding of genres and eras was truly amazing.
This is one for everyone to read! Give it a try today.
The area that let this book down is it's lack of blurb, and the rather dreary cover. It screams indie author and isn't doing this book any justice. The story is a solid 4.5 stars that is unfortunately let down by poor advertising and promotion.
**Note: I was provided an electronic version of this book in return for an honest review**